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Dihydroxyanthracenedione: A Promising New Drug in the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

HWEE-YONG YAP, M.D.; GEORGE R. BLUMENSCHEIN, M.D.; FRANK C. SCHELL, M.D.; AMAN U. BUZDAR, M.D.; MANUEL VALDIVIESO, M.D.; and GERALD P. BODEY, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Hwee-Yong Yap, M.D.; Medical Breast Service; M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute; 6723 Bertner Avenue; Houston, TX 77030.


Houston, Texas


© 1981 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(6):694-697. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-6-694
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Thirty-one patients who had metastatic breast cancer extensively pretreated with combination chemotherapy, including doxorubicin, were treated with dihydroxyanthracenedione, 3 to 4 mg/m2 body surface are a daily for 5 consecutive days every 4 weeks. Of 27 evaluable patients, one achieved a complete response and five had partial responses. Furthermore, responses were seen in patients who were refractory to doxorubicin, indicating a lack of cross-resistance between doxorubicin and dihydroxyanthracenedione. Acute drug toxicity was insignificant except for severe granulocytopenia at the dose level of 4 mg/m2 · d. The median duration of remission had not been reached, but was more than 26 weeks, with four of the six responding patients still in remission at last follow-up. We believe that dihydroxyanthracenedione has significant activity against refractory metastatic breast cancer and further evaluation is warranted.

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